File Size: 1279 KB
Print Length: 444 pages
Publisher: Authorhouse (February 23, 2005)
Publication Date: February 23, 2005
Carrier opens with strong punch: "Philosophy is not a word game or hairsplitting contest, neither a grand scheme to rationalize this or that... " He goes in this vein for several webpages, looking at how philosophers have failed to live up to their calling, as well as discussing the connection between beliefs and religion. Most of it hits every little as hard because the first sentence. Carrier explains that the purpose of the book is to place out his personal philosophy and worldview in a manner that nonspecialists can understand. An admirable goal, and Carrier gets off to an excellent start in the opening section.
For all the promise in the opening chapter, I don't think this book is going to do much to bring philosophy to the masses. The problem is that Carrier has the ability to produce powerful prose, but isn't able to apply that ability consistently. Most of the first half of the book drags. It's understandable without having a backdrop in philosophy, but many without such a backdrop will have trouble viewing why it matters. One problem is a repeated lack of concrete good examples. Take his exploration of method: the only kind of example used is the Cartesian Demon. A much more readable discussion of method can be found in "Why I Was Not a Christian, inch where Carrier gets in far more examples in less space.
About midway through the book, however, the caliber of writing picks upwards. I found his dialogue of the Rain Magic (in part IV, "What There Isn't") better than the web version. Among other things, in Sense and Goodness Carrier provide the case clear larger significance: "we have a legend sprining up just eight years after the fact, when thousands of eyewintesses were surely still alive... despite these seemingly unfavorable conditions, this legend beat away the truth. " Also, part V "Natural Morality" soars. Among other things, Carrier looks at the reasons given by J. P. Moreland for theists to be moral, and shows that Secular Humanists have equivalent reasons.
Service provider got one other thing right: not using footnotes, but including bibliographies at the finish of each section rather as compared to the back of the book. This is probably the best way to primary readers to further resources on given subjects. Within many cases I have not read all the books he cites, but where I have, We can say that Service provider has made excellent selections.
I will emphasize that while this book may not capture on with the public, the book isn't a spend for not having done so. It would have already been nice to see such a book, but that really wasn't Carrier's main purpose. His main objective was to lay away a coherent worldview, a worthwhile pursuit. He appropriately criticizes modern philosophers for having abandoned system building, and does an excellent job of creating up his own system. This is a fine book; I share bookjunkys hope that it will be revised in a more accessible version., Brilliant and cogent! Read it carefully and with purpose., The good things:
+ The book is well organized on many different topics.
+ The book offers ideas and also the precise product information that We haven't encountered previously, such as important conditions for the historical method and for trusting experts. Service provider gives some fascinating examples of applying the historical method, too.
- If if you're not already interested in a philosophical topic that he writes about, Carrier is just not try to motivate one to become interested in it.
- There are occasional pointlessly crass lines, like where he in comparison religious beliefs to azure monkeys flying out of his ass., Though We enjoyed the book, the basis for his postulation is far too long and laborious a read., Sense and Goodness With out God is an interesting read to a worldview which he describes as his very own (Introduction) out of many different versions of Metaphysical Naturalism that could exist. He does a great job overall of presenting his views and explanations why he believes what he believes. He is mainly a philosopher/ historian who is affordable and relatively spiritual and describes themselves as a person of belief from experience. He evidently proclaims his passion for philosophy and his company belief that philosophy is key to all of human being successes and problem resolving techniques, which I agree with.
He has a propensity of arguing quite a lttle bit with J. P. Moreland on metaethics that does get quite annoying at times as they wastes some space on trying to hit J. P. Moreland instead of further developing his Metaphysical Naturalism defenses, especially his reasons for why we should not acknowledge some of the theistic defenses such as free will as a coherent solution to the supposed problem of evil and the situation of good. He could have elaborated a little more on this. His Objective Theory is a simple idea that I definitely agree with and encourage but can only expect its failure since very few are committed to informing themselves of the facts and processing accordingly to make scrutinized, linear, pure, clear considering. He also provides quick lesson on what makes reliable and accurate history and methods for establishing the historicity of any historians from the past.
Maybe it was due to the limited space he had to write, but in words of his protection of science and the origins of the galaxy by multiverse theory, he does not do a good job in convincing why there would be many universes received from black slots and why there actually would be infinite universes. His footnotes for the multiverse are helpful though. Their defense of the scientific method is the same usual stuff that can be found in some theistic and some atheistic literature. The only problem I see with this defense is that on l. 214-216 he makes it seem to be like all researchers do experiments and research in a fixed cynic manner where all researchers begin with skepticism when in reality it usually is by using a curious and neutral manner that is nor pessimistic or optimistic though it sometimes is positive. Sometimes science is dealt with as somehow special, in this it feels like only a few can reach the status of science tecnistions, which is absurd. The scientific method has their origin in philosophy. So it is philosophy that is the basis of research and also of life in general too. Carrier, however, argues in this guide about philosophy and science as separate and not about the latter arising from the former.
I am actually studying to be a Chemical Engineer and for the most part research is definitely thinking about associations between stuff in characteristics. Anyone can be a scientist. In fact, everyone is by definition a scientist (knowledgist) in the same manner that everyone is a politician (person of the city) by both by etymological definition. It's just that few make it a career to live off of. And science is quite basic and not impossible to do. It may be sometimes weird, but for the most part it's doable. It really is natural to be a science tecnistions, as if we were made for that. If you can cook anything, then you'd be better with guilty of doing a process for an organic and natural chemical reaction(s). Science is actually more relaxed and not so strict since we still have a lot to learn and new methods that may be easier to work with may yet be uncovered. Also usually people who aren't a part of a field of research treat science a lot more away there than it needs to be treated. Luckily Carrier mentions that sciences like zoology, psychology and anything that involves intelligent creatures or is organic and natural is not as clear cut and concrete as the inorganic fields of general chemistry or physics. An example of scientific fluctuations come from medical journals which may have a lot of trying to explain to do for unusual patients and unusual behavior.
Carrier does an ok job of backlinking the mind or soul with the brain as inseparable, but does not which the mind has its control of the brain too. He argues that the mind works by chemical reactions in the brain with other stuff too. But in cases of depression, even with medication, your head seems to override the chemical reactions and so someone can be under medication but still have a depressed mind set.
I would agree that the mind and brain work together the majority of enough time, but also the mind is apparently immune to chemical side effects in mental performance. You can look at a Medical American article on the mind-brain relationship through depressive disorder at
[Please look at comment #1 of this review]
If what Carrier states is true, then the depressive disorder that is caused by your head would be eliminated in practically all instances since if you prevent some reactions from occurring in your brain, that cause a depression sensation, then you would not get depressed or have sad thoughts since those feelings would be chemically overpowered, oppressed. This does not occur as much as we want. So the mind does look like it is somehow individual from the brain and yet linked as well. This also explains what Carrier argues in l. 328-329 of individuals in coma are dormant persons not annihilated persons.
Also right now neuroscientists have not already been able to get the part or parts of mental performance that constitute our Will to do anything. I have not heard about any conclusions yet thus I must deny a whole mind-brain link as not true unless evidence proves or else. Great attempt though.
Here is a simplified Breakdown of the whole book (These are not chapter titles just stuff he discusses... Well some are Chapter titles):
II. Exactly how We Know
Importance of philosophy
Logic and Which means
Methods of Science, History, Reason, Experience
III. What There is
Outline of Spiritual Naturalism
Characteristics and Origin of World
Determinism vs. Freewill (Libertarian)
What Everything is Made of
Thoughts / Brain: Origins, Advancement, Functions
Which means of Life
How We Got Here
Nature of Reason, Emotion
IV. Just what There Isn't
7 Reasons To Be An Atheist
V. Natural Morality
Secular Humanism vs. Christian Theism
Metaphysical Naturalistic Morality
Exactly how We Percieve Beauty in Art and Human Existence
VII. Natural Politics
An Educated Male's Politics
Richard Carrier's Politics
Secular Humanist Heaven
Bravo for Richard Carrier. Good introduction to those who are new to one of the religions of atheism and/or interested in viewing what other options exist or for many who desire to get informed of the diversity of human thought in words of belief systems and worldviews. I personally thought it was better than David Mill's "Atheist Universe" which is more amateurish.
Despite their flaws, it a good book on Atheology.
**Since Carrier talks slightly on science and atheism, for a good summary of when modern atheism created (17th century, not before), and the relationship completely with science up to this century one can see Oxford and Cambridge's review from the "Investigating Atheism" project under the "Atheism & Science" section online free of charge., Interesting although very heavy reading.
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